Parks board to discuss Hell Creek State Park lease agreement proposal – April 25

The Montana State Parks and Recreation Board will meet April 27 to discuss a proposal to enter a two-year, no-cost lease agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the operation and maintenance of Hell Creek State Park on Fort Peck Reservoir. The proposal includes the option of two one-year extensions.

Under this proposed action, FWP will work with the Little Shell Tribe during the upcoming lease term. The Tribe has expressed interest in managing the federally owned recreation site in the future.

“This path forward will ensure continued operations at the site for the anglers and visitors who value Hell Creek and the recreational opportunities found there,” said FWP director Hank Worsech.

An environmental assessment analyzing the proposal was released today. The public can comment on the EA by emailing board members at parksboard@mt.gov and at the public meeting. To view a draft of the environmental assessment and to provide public comment, please visit fwp.mt.gov and click on “News and Public Notices.”

The board meeting will be conducted via Zoom. Due to COVID-19, there will be no in-person meeting. For information on participating in the hearing, visit the Parks and Recreation Board page on fwp.mt.gov. The main agenda item will be “Hell Creek State Park lease renewal with the Army Corps of Engineers.”         

The 337-acre park on the south side of Fort Peck Lake is an important public recreational site. FWP has had a long relationship with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the park, with a formal relationship dating back to at least the 1960s.

During the term of the previous lease, significant capital investments were made on the site, including staff housing units, a maintenance building, comfort station, electrification of the public campground, and significant investments in site infrastructure related to public safety (public water supply and wastewater disposal).

FWP announces change to walleye regulation in section of Missouri River, Canyon Ferry and Hauser reservoirsApril 15th

GREAT FALLS – Anglers need to be aware of a new fishing regulation change for walleye on the Missouri River from Toston through Canyon Ferry and Hauser Reservoir.  

The new regulation went into effect April 1 and are limits for walleye of 10 daily, only one over 15 inches. Possession limit is twice the daily limit. 

This regulation was approved by the Fish and Wildlife Commission at its meeting April 1 and went into effect immediately.

FWP Zoom Meeting Recap on Canyon Ferry Rules – April 5

Here is a link to the FWP ZOOM MEETING held 4/1 about Canyon Ferry and Upper Missouri Proposed new fishing regulations for Daily Walleye limits down to 10 with only 1 over 15″.

Upper Missouri River Management Plan – Your comments needed!

The Upper Missouri River Reservoir Fisheries Management Plan guides fisheries management for Canyon Ferry, Hauser, and Holter Reservoirs and the Missouri River from Toston to Canyon Ferry and from Hauser Dam to upper Holter Reservoir. The plan sets fisheries goals to maintain quality multi-species fisheries throughout the system and outlines strategies to effectively meet goals. Development of the plan was completed through rigorous public process and was approved by the Fish and Wildlife Commission in December 2019.

Proposal, changes to current fishing regulations, and survey are all due March 15th.


**What we would like to see if the proposed limit for the reservoirs of 10 daily with 1 over 15” be approved. And for the river we would like to see the same regulation applied of 10 daily with 1 over 15”

Walleyes Unlimited Legislature Preference ListJan 28

Click on the link below to view a list of all bills Walleyes Unlimited are following for this 2021 Montana Legislature session.


HB 152 – Second offense for plug violation – Jan 18

It is a secondary offense violation. A vehicle has to be stopped for a different violation before Law Enforcement can check for the plug violation. It is written like our seat belt law.  Applies only to Highway Patrolman, Sheriff’s Officers, and City Policemen. Game Wardens have no authority to enforce traffic or motor vehicle registration laws, only Fish and Game laws. 


Even a worse idea than I thought. 

Please use our contact page and select Executive Director – Bob Gilbert

Thank you,
Bob Gilbert  E.D.Lobbyist

HB 154 Requires drain plugs to be removed while trailering Jan 11

Notice On 1-12-21 House Bill 152 was assigned to the House Natural Resources Committee.  As of today, 1-14-21, a hearing date has not been scheduled.  The Bill is sponsored by Neil Duram from Eureka at the request of the Department of Natural Resources.  Not from FWP. The Bill will require that all boat drain plugs be removed during transit in the State.  The WUM Board discussed this same proposal a couple of years or so ago and decided not to support it.  I am asking for member input with your opinions.  Also, since the time for the hearing will be soon please call or email your Legislators on the House Natural Resources Committee and express your opinions.

This is a bad idea and needs to be defeated.  Please note the comments on the Bill by Dale Gilbert.  He is spot on.

  1. Since we are already required to remove the plug, clean and dry the boat prior to leaving a site….what additional benefit is gained by leaving the plug removed?  Does the benefits out weigh the risks?
  2. Leaving the plug removed would potentially result in the loss of the plug, damage to the boat drain hole from the a plug left dangling while trailering down the road.
  3. Leaving the drain plug removed will also likely result in boaters forgetting to replace it prior to launching and creating a dangerous situation or at the very least congestion at the ramp while they are trying to get the plug in or have to reload the boat.

Please get in touch with Committee Members or email to me at your earliest convenience.      Please use our contact page and select Executive Director – Bob Gilbert

Thank you,
Bob Gilbert  E.D.Lobbyist


PREAMBLE Whereas sport fishing is part of Montana’s rich outdoor heritage, and fishing is culturally important to over two hundred thousand residents of Montana, 100,000 out-of-state visitors and whereas sport fishing is a $280,000,000 dollar industry in Montana, and whereas the total angler days of fishing in Montana appears to be declining for both resident anglers and visitors, and that a very large percent of the sport fish caught in Montana are non-native fish, NOW THEREFORE it is policy of the State Montana to:

1. Recognize the cultural importance of sport fishing in Montana for all important fish species.

2. Recognize the economic importance of sport fishing in Montana

3. Give equal recognition to both native fish and important non-native fish of economic and cultural importance.

4. Important Montana fish species include non-native Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout and Brook Trout; Westslope Cutthroat Trout; Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout; Bull Trout; Arctic Grayling; Mountain Whitefish; Northern Pike; Walleyes; Yellow Perch; Kokanee Salmon; Largemouth Bass; Smallmouth Bass; Crappies; Catfish; Sauger; non-native Lake Trout; and Lake Superior Whitefish.

5. Montana FWP shall take all appropriate steps to improve and enhance fishing opportunities in Montana for all species of importance

6. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks shall update the state fisheries management plan to ensure maintaining healthy and viable populations for all fish of importance as mentioned in this legislation. The update of the state fish management plan shall include extensive public meetings and will consider public input.

7. Any fish management project to assist native threatened or endangered or sensitive fish species, which reduces sport fishing opportunities for other fish species of importance, shall provide for replacement sport fishing opportunities of the fish species displaced.

8. All existing fish hatcheries shall be kept open and in full production similar to average hatchery production for the last five years. FWP shall provide a complete assessment of the current fish hatchery system, future needs and recommended changes, including budget requirements to the 2023 Legislature.

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Upcoming Events

  1. Crooked Creek Walleye Classic

    May 15 - May 16
  2. Rock Creek Tournament

    June 5 - June 6
  3. Fresno Challenge

    June 12 - June 13
  4. Canyon Ferry Walleye Fest

    June 26 - June 27
  5. Montana Walleye Gov Cup

    July 8 - July 11

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